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News The US National Debt

  1. Oct 31, 2005 #1
    The US has a national debt proportionally similar to that of France or Germany and about 50% of Japan’s. Some of the US debt is owed to its corporations and citizens while some of it is owed to foreign entities. China has a large trade surplus with the US and increasingly owns a goodly share of the US debt.

    China, by virtue of its low paid workforce, exports goods and services to the US that enhance the US citizen's standard of living. The US pays for the low priced products with the US dollar. The Chinese can distribute, save, or invest the dollars as they see fit.

    Some posters, the US haters such as TSM find much enjoyment in the fact that China owns a large amount of US debt. Why is the US debt seen as a negative for the US and a positive for China?

    In a high school economic class we might be taught that owing money is a bad thing. Is that really true?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2005 #2
    Once you graduate however, you begin to discover that macro-economics states that an economy based on credit with a mounting deficit and little to back the economy means you are becoming a welfare state with a few rich bankers at the top.

    When the crash comes and you discover that like Halliburton they have salted thiir cash offshore, they bail and head for switzerland.
  4. Nov 1, 2005 #3


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    I wonder what professor would have told you "When the crash comes and you discover that like Halliburton they have salted thiir cash offshore, they bail and head for switzerland."

    Or did you get it off a blogs?
  5. Nov 1, 2005 #4
    not everyone here is a student

    Source please? since you are continuing to post spin and smoking mirrors (and it seems personal attacks now) I would like to see where you pulled your figures from...
  6. Nov 1, 2005 #5


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    Well then I guess he learned economics from a cartoon. No self-respecting economist would say a country is run by "a few rich bankers" or make that childish halliburton joke. Also, theres the baseless assumption that the US economy has nothing behind it.

    I can tell you for a fact that vs. GDP, the figures are wrong. I don't see what scale you can use where the US debt is lower then Japan or Germany or France. They are similar... roughly 10% higher then france and germany... but definitely not lower. Check the CIA World Factbook.
  7. Nov 1, 2005 #6
    :frown: I would have laughed, if it were not so sad.
  8. Nov 1, 2005 #7
    Penguine, maybe you are unaware but in the last couple of years the 'dollar standard' has been undermined.

    Most nations have divested and purchased 20%+ of their treasury holdings into Euros.

    In late January/early February of last year, South Korea published a poorly worded statement telling the world they were selling dollars and they started a world wide run on the currency. They had to publ9ish a retraction within 12 hours.

    I am certainly glad YOU think you are backed by something because the rest of the world has its doubts.
  9. Nov 1, 2005 #8


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    Please excuse the interruption, I'm just passing through, but I thought you guys might be interested in some facts:


    China's debt: http://www.iwep.org.cn/wec/English/articles/2001_01/jiakang.htm [Broken]

    There may have been some mixing of debt vs deficit there, guys.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Nov 1, 2005 #9
    You're using 1991 figures? What kind of joke is that?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  11. Nov 1, 2005 #10
    Marc Rich anyone? So sorry that reality interferes with your theoretic economic jargon.
  12. Nov 1, 2005 #11
    Yeah and covering the years 1944 to 1988!?:rofl:

    Maybe he should just keep on PASSING through and not bother to stop next time.:biggrin:
  13. Nov 1, 2005 #12
    Any American ever heard about the Maastricht norm? All EU countries are required to keep deficit below 3 %
  14. Nov 1, 2005 #13
    Per the CIA World fact book (2004)

    Dept per GDP of some selected countries

    Japan - - - 164.3
    Italy - - - - 105.0
    Belgium - - 96.2
    France - - - 67.7
    Germany - -65.8
    USA - - - - - 65.0

    Statement made in original post is correct.

    TMS in a reply stated “Most nations have divested and purchased 20%+ of their treasury holdings into Euros.”

    The statement may or not be factual, but it doesn’t matter, it implies US dollars were sold. Who was the purchaser? Since there was a purchaser, there must be an active market vying for dollars. For many months, the Euro decreased in value relative to the Dollar. Did the countries selling the dollar do well for their citizens?

  15. Nov 1, 2005 #14
    Apparently that doesn't apply to France and Germany.
  16. Nov 1, 2005 #15
    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Still using your high school economics classes, eh?

    Who was the purchaser??? Why, the USA of course. Doh!!!

    Oh, and what is a 'dept'? You obviously have cut and pasted something and given no reference for it. If they are writing the word as 'dept' and not 'debt' you must be really reaching.

    And what is a 'dept per GDP' anyway while we're at it?

    Are these percentages, dollars, euros, donuts ... what?

    Maybe you'd letter let the grown-ups talk for a while.
  17. Nov 2, 2005 #16
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2005
  18. Nov 2, 2005 #17
  19. Nov 2, 2005 #18
    I do wish that were true, but if memory serves, my last physics course would have been taken in1961+/-.

    Correct if stated “the world is not investing in the US over the last several years at the high historical rates.”

    China is continuing to buy US T-notes despite its non-parity (Yuan v. Dollar) policy.

    If we use the value of the Euro as a reference, the Dollar has increased in value since Jan. ’05. The value of the Yuan is supposedly maintained at 3% parity with the Dollar but in practice its value has closely tracked the Dollar. China, other nations, and private entities continue to invest in and stabilize the Dollar’s value v. the Euro and Yuan by buying Dollars. Capital flow into the US is still greater than outflow.

    http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/18/news/economy/inflows.reut/ [Broken]
    October 18, 2005: 10:42 AM EDT - WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “Net flows of capital into U.S. assets swelled to $91.3 billion in August, well above analyst expectations and the largest inflow since $92.1 billion seen in April 2004, a government report showed on Tuesday…The figure was more than enough to cover the U.S. trade deficit, which was $59 billion in that month, and topped …sending the euro to session lows around $1.1919 from around $1.1938 shortly before the report was released…”

    The effect of above on the Chinese internal economy is an inflationary one while tending to stabilize prices in the US.

    You have not yet addressed the question in my OP.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  20. Nov 2, 2005 #19
    GDP relies heavily on personal consumption, The problem is that the cost of personal consumption is outpacing personal spendable income. We are buying on credit giving the GDP a boost, but consumer debt is not factored in to the equation. In essence we cannot keep up the present rate of personel consumption which has made the the GDP look good in recent years.

    http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/charting/2005/0218.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  21. Nov 2, 2005 #20
    Forget it, edward.

    She has not understood yet the effects of a credit economy.

    She doesn't understand that the flawed view of economy as generated by the USA is actually selling the USA to the people investing in the USA.

    That investment is actually a loan with no way to repay it.

    It is said that if the UAE and Saudi haul their cash out of the US banks ... not the economy ... just the banks ... It can start off an economic collapse of the USA.

    Additional investment is actually in LAND not manufacturing.

    And now ... when companies bid on the Supposed free market for the purchase of even 'trivial' companies the Senate is stepping in to prevent it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  22. Nov 2, 2005 #21
    Americans consume at a higher rate than most other countries and save at a lower rate. We consumed our way through Democratic and Republican administrations; before the Clinton Administration, during the Clinton Administration, and after the Clinton Administration. Perhaps we are not storing our Dollars in a mattress or giving it to a bank to grow at a snails pace, but we are investing in private business at an ever increasing rate.

    Of course an economy cannot expand without a growth in consumption. The two are haplessly entwined.

    Are you offering that as an opinion or as a fact? Why can’t we “keep up the present rate of personel consumption”? What dire consequences await us?
  23. Nov 2, 2005 #22
    Apparently TSM cannot support his opinion; he resorts to an absurd hypothetical scenario, follows with a factually incorrect statement and finishes by going off topic.
  24. Nov 3, 2005 #23
    China is only buying your Treasury Bills because she is swamped by all these green backs she receives from selling you cheap products. The flood of green backs puts RMB under appreciative pressure which is not good, as she needs investment in and expansion of the economy that spawns at least 20 million new jobs per year to absorb all school-leavers. Any GDP growth below 8% will see her fall short of the goal. So what does she do to keep RMB cheap? She recycles those green backs by buying T-bills, earning a dismal interest that is likely to be offset by the depreciation of the dollar of course, but keeping RMB articficial low anyway while buying time so that she can get hold of all the US technology and know-how and the whole industrial base. Needless to say she is also then able to indirectly control the long-term interest rate and therefore the US economy, she sits out one such T Bill aution, Dow Jones will crumble, as Japan has demonstrated herself in the 80's.

    As at the end of 2004, the budget deficit situation of America, can be liken to a man who has an annual revenue of USD100,000, but owes third parties a total of USD230,000. He can of course go further into debt to keep the entire debt revolving, but if interest rate shoots up (as a result of China stopping to buy T-Bill aution, for instance), or his income decreases to the extent that he cannot even pay off the interest of the debts, creditors will call loan of course, demanding the debts to be settled. By then the whole world will realise the green back, not backed by gold or anything, is only an empty token of exchange and everybody will dump it like mad. The USD will cease to be the reserve currency of the world and all those trading with the USA will demand to be paid in other currencies, the Americans will have little means to pay for inports, to the extent that they cannot be self-sustaining or cannot resort to barter trade, hyper-inflation will follow and all hell will break loose.

    Just my A-level economics talking o:) .
  25. Nov 3, 2005 #24
    And what you call this? Perhaps not OT but yours was the first post, I think the rest is evident within your post

  26. Nov 3, 2005 #25


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    Sure, if the national debt was 230% of GDP. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it was 36.5% in 2004.

    Our real problem right now is the budget deficit, which has gone (you can see on the same table) from a $128 billion surplus in 2001 to a $412 billion deficit in 2004. A $540 billion swing in three years is an awful lot. Granted, with an $11.5 trillion GDP, that number looks worse than it really is, but government spending clearly needs to be reigned in.
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